Econet bemoans increasing network vandalism
Harare (New Ziana) – Econet Wireless said on Friday cases of vandalism of its mobile phone network were increasing around the country, and appealed for public support to protect it.
In a statement, the company said it had suffered vandalism and theft of network equipment such as transformers, cables, solar batteries and meters at many sites across the country.
In many cases the vandalism and theft, Econet Wireless said, had disrupted communication services, and implored communities near its infrastructure sites to help protect it.
“Econet Wireless has noted with concern, the increasing number of network equipment theft and vandalism across the country. This includes vandalism of transformers and meters, destruction of base station security screens, stealing of network cables and solar batteries,” it said.
It added: “Let us work together to protect the network and subsequently your connectivity and the community.”
Vandalism and theft of infrastructure equipment has been a major problem for all telecommunication companies, and other public utilities such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority.
Most of the cases involved theft of copper wires and cables, which cost millions of dollars for the companies to replace every month.
So serious has the problem become that government was prompted to impose stiff mandatory prison sentences of up to ten years for vandalism and theft of public infrastructure equipment.